Sunday, July 20, 2008

Three Things

Three things the iphone will need to have before I buy one are...
I'm not talking about the obvious things that the majority of New Zealanders are complaining about at the moment i.e a cheap price and a decent data plan but the much more important things to me and Education 1) a camera capable of recording video (let's be honest a phones a phone, it's not really until you add a camera/video recording facilities that it becomes a useful tool for education). 2) A flash enabled browser. The second most important feature that changes a normal everyday phone into an Educational tool is no doubt a decent browser. Why wouldn't one want one with flash? 3) HSDPA capabilities so that I can use my phone as a modem to connect to my lap top (well because that's what I do).
Oh well looks like I might be waiting a while then.
It's made me realise one thing though as I first suspected the iphone is not revolutionary not any more revolutionary that is than my P990i and a whole heap of other phones which are much more educationary (Educationally capable that is). So the question is if we're here for the learning revolution do we need to bring our iphones with us. What three things will an iphone need to have before you or your students buy one I wonder?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Now the hype is over

Having decided that I won't be buying an iphone before Christmas and with the rose tinted glasses definitely back in their case I realised that I had been caught up in the whole hype. I picked up my p990 (with broken jog dial) and thought what would I have gained from buying an iphone?

The Browser - Then I realised I had opera mini (which simulates the safari browser). But then I also read a review on and the reviewer mentioned that to load their home page on 3G took around 30-40 seconds. Opera mini does the same in around 10-20s! That' with 3G, now here is the other criticism that is also appearing in the forums. The iphone will only be on 3G in the major centres because it does not support the 2100Mhz that Vodafone use for 3G outside of these centres. Apparently Telecom NZ will have a country wide 850Mhz, which means the iphone (if they choose to sell it) will be on 3G everywhere. Telecom NZ will role their new network out from November 2008.

GPS - Who cares, I've got google maps as an install on mine and that's good enough to find places and get directions to them.

Erm and that's it. In terms of what I've got that the iphone doesn't have, well MMS (but you know my views on that one), blue tooth support and more importantly video support. Not for video calling, but for those impromptu times that you want to record something. This I do use a lot at school to capture things, for assessment or just to review later.

This should not be seen as a criticism of the iphone, I still think that it changed the worlds (well maybe not here because of Vodafone pricing) view of mobile data and the mobile web, but sometimes you get caught up with it all and become blinded to what you really believe in. If somebody asked me if they should buy the iphone I would have to now say no. I had said to a number of people, wait for the iphone, assuming it would be reasonably priced and with a good data plan. This has not happened and I just can't have an iphone myself and tell others don't get one. I believe in the mobile web for everybody and the iphone just doesn't quite meet that criteria, well at least not today anyway!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The answer is NO!

Vodafone have just demonstrated that they have a monopoly on the iphone in this country. There has been an uproar on the pricing they have applied. The $199 deal involves shelling out $250 a month. I won't go into the details as they are available at Read them and weep, they are amongst the worst in the world. But there are plenty of forums that you can go to for a taste of what we think. What it comes down to is hype and I got caught in it. When you actually look at it without the rose tinted glasses, it is a phone with an ipod attached with a great browser. I'm going to wait until Christmas and see what the new N96 is like and then see if I still want one. Vodafone knew they had limited numbers of iphones and could easily sell them, but to me they missed a great opportunity to kick start mobile data and browsing use in this country (as it did in the US) and instead wanted to further line the pockets of it's UK investors and executives. I just can't ever forgive them for that!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Will I or won't I buy an Iphone?

Well the wait is nearly over. Vodafone have said the Iphone will be available from NZD199 on a two year contract. The details will be available from 10am today. I've been really satisfied with my P990 for the last 18 months until the jog dial broke. If the Iphone had not been upgraded to 3G I would have gone for a N95. I know the Iphone doesn't have everything, such as PXT (who cares it's a dying technology), video calling (another gimick technology which needs both parties in 3G coverage and kills your battery) and blue tooth headphone support to name a few. But, for me it's the browser that sells it for me. As you know I love opera mini ( which mimics the Iphone Safari browser) and the one web approach. That combined with the applications and upgrades that the Apple store provides is the turning .point. I now have to see if I can get one on Friday, which if you believe all the hype could be more difficult than expected. Mines a 16Gb black one please Vodafone! If I'm successful I will be back blogging on a regular basis giving you the warts and all view on the Iphone and it's potential for educational use.